ByJenika Enoch, writer at
I love movies, music, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and love to be creative as much as humanly possible. @icemyeyes
Jenika Enoch

How old were you in 1996? Well, one easy way to figure that out is to subtract 20 from your current age. Yes, 1996 was 20-years ago already! Personally, I was just 7-years old.

When looking back at the year, or the 90s in general, the world was a much different place. Jnco Jeans were in full swing, Nickelodeon was still airing its SNICK nighttime programming, track pants were popular, all the girls had backpack purses, and your SEGA Saturn was waiting for you after school. Aside from fashion and toy trends, music was also much different from what we have now.

1996 brought us a lot of songs, singers, and groups that would forever change the world of music. With this article, I thought it would be fun to bring us back and look at some popular songs that are celebrating their 20th birthday this year. These songs might bring back some serious nostalgia because you haven't heard it in forever, or it might surprise you that it's still being played to this day.

8. "Un-Break My Heart" - Toni Braxton

Release Date: October 7, 1996

In June 1996, we got R&B sensation Toni Braxton's most successful album, Secrets, and one of the most popular hits is easily "Un-Break My Heart." This is one you can still hear on the airwaves today as it's definitely stood the test of time. The album also earned Braxton two Grammys and two American Music Awards. She has since moved onto more of the reality television arena, but I'm sure she announced in January 2016 that she was working on a new album.

7. "Say You'll Be There" - Spice Girls

Release Date: October 14, 1996

Girl Power swept through the globe in 1996 after the release of the Spice Girls' debut album, Spice. Hit songs like "Wannabe" and "Say You'll Be There" smashed onto the charts and airwaves and skyrocketed the girl group into super stardom. Although they went their separate ways just four years later, we all still love the songs. Plus, we got to see them reunite for the 2012 Olympics in London.

6. "What I Got" - Sublime

Release Date: August 27, 1996

This ska-punk band from California burst onto the scene back in 1988, but they didn't record their first major label record until 1996. "What I Got" was the first of many memorable songs from the self-titled album. Although Sublime's original run ended in 1996 with the death of their frontman, the songs are still played and enjoyed 20-years after the fact.

5. "If It Makes You Happy" - Sheryl Crow

Release Date: September 20, 1996

After many years of serving as a backup singer, including touring with Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow made her solo debut in 1994 and continued to smash the charts all the way through the 90s. The 1996 single, "If It Makes You Happy," put her even higher on the radar and sat on top of the charts for weeks. The song not only stood the test of time, but Crow herself has managed to survive as she still is recording and releasing music in 2016.

4. "Criminal" - Fiona Apple

Release Date: September 16, 1996

Fiona Apple's 1996 debut album, Tidal, went three times platinum and the single, "Criminal," rose to the Top 40 on the Billboard charts. Although she won Best New Artist at the MTV VMAs, the song's video was soon ripped off the MTV airwaves for being controversial. You can still hear the song played on the radio every once in a while, but unfortunately you don't see Fiona Apple too often anymore.

3. "Bulls on Parade" - Rage Against the Machine

Release Date: February 9, 1996

Popular for their "left wing" political views inserted into their lyrics and performances, Rage's second album, Evil Empire, put them more on the radar than ever before. "Bulls on Parade" was performed on Saturday Night Live just a few months after the song was released, but were cut from the show after making a political protest to having a Republican Presidential candidate guest host the episode. Although the band broke up in 2000, their music has definitely remained popular to this day.

2. "Lovefool" - The Cardigans

Release Date: September 14, 1996

"Lovefool" might as well just be named the official song of the 90s. The Swedish band's 1996 release has been featured in several films of the era, such as Cruel Intentions and Romeo + Juliet, and is still played nonstop on radio stations. Back in the day, it was also a heavily played music video on MTV. The band technically reunited in 2012, but they haven't been too active as of late.

1. "Pony" - Ginuwine

Release Date: August 20, 1996

Ginuwine blasted onto the scene after meeting Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Timbaland and his most popular song, by far, was "Pony" of his 1996 debut, Ginuwine... The Bachelor. The song rose in popularity and has been used for karaoke, dance clubs, and movies. It recently made a comeback with Magic Mike as the music for Channing Tatum's striptease. Ginuwine is now part of the Grammy-nominated trio, TGT.

What was your favorite song from 1996? Let me know in the comments!


Latest from our Creators